'They are terrifying:' Risky TikTok trends continue to put people in danger
BALTIMORE -- Risky TikTok trends are putting people in serious danger, but the app continues to gain popularity.
Popular trends consist of dropping a penny into an electrical outlet, doing the cha-cha slide while driving, or throwing large objects into the air.
"They are terrifying. There are a couple viral ones that have ended with people being really injured in the hospital," said college student Samaria Ciarrocchi.
According to Pew research data, more than two-thirds of American teenagers have used TikTok.
"Just by getting likes and shares from friends, it makes people feel good," said Greg Hoplazian, academic director of the emerging media program at Loyola University. "And unfortunately, that can drive people to do things they otherwise wouldn't."
Hoplamzian advises parents to not ignore the problem and to talk to their children about the dangerous trends.
Recently, the FDA warned against cooking chicken in NyQuil, after the hashtag "sleepy chicken" began trending on the app.
Other viral videos included teaching people to steal cars using simple objects, which led to a spike in car thefts in Howard County.
"It's a felony and it goes on your record. And it can impact your future," said Howard County Police Department spokesperson Seth Hoffman. "So there are lots of other harmless challenges out there that you may find more fun than stealing a vehicle."
College freshman Lauryn Howard stated that if she is not busy, she could spend six hours scrolling on TikTok.
TikTok says it is working to improve community safety. Starting next month, users who want to host a livestream must be at least 18 years old.
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